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RetroRadio – Gladys Staines

RetroRadio is a series of posts of radio interviews from my time working at 98five Sonshine FM covering everything from issues of spirituality to chats with visiting musicians and celebrities.

Hopefully, the interviews spark a few memories and a few thoughts.

Over the past week or two, there’s been a lot in our news about American missionary John Allen Chau, who was killed on the 16th of November while trying to reach an isolated tribe on North Sentinel Island in India. He’d first read of the tribe as a teen and was determined to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the residents of the small island.

Long before John lost his life, another missionary in India was killed with his two sons but the story didn’t end there.

January the 22nd, 1999, is a day forever etched in the memory of Gladys Staines.

It is the day that her husband Graham, along with their young sons, Timothy and Philip, were burnt alive by a group of by “suspected” Bajrang Dal activists in Orissa, India, where Graham had been working with the poor, especially those with leprosy.

Gladys has an amazing story to tell of how she and her daughter were able to forgive those who killed those they loved. While their forgiveness was offered right away, the healing took a lot longer.

It is truly remarkable to think that Gladys stayed on in India for many years to continue the work that her husband had begun years earlier. Many people have been inspired by her life and her determination to continue serving God in a land far from her home country of Australia.

In 2004, Christianity Today described this woman as “the best-known Christian in India after Mother Teresa.” In 2005, she was awarded the Padma Shri, a civilian award from the Government of India. As a result of the contributions earned from receiving that award, Staines transformed the leper house she served at into a full hospital. In November 2015, Staines was awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice and after receiving the award, she stated “I thank God for his help in enabling me to carry out the work in caring for people with leprosy, even after my husband was killed.” – Wiki

I was extremely privileged to speak with Gladys back in February 2008.

If you’d like to hear from someone who found healing in forgiveness just click play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

[Note: All RetroRadio interviews on RodneyOlsen.net are a snapshot of the time they were recorded. We all grow and change and so the opinions and thoughts of those in the interviews at the time of recording may or may not necessarily be the same as they are today.] Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading RetroRadio – Gladys Staines? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂

RetroRadio – Paul Potts

RetroRadio is a series of posts of radio interviews from my time working at 98five Sonshine FM covering everything from issues of spirituality to chats with visiting musicians and celebrities.

Hopefully, the interviews spark a few memories and a few thoughts.

This week Paul Potts is starting a Christmas tour of Denmark and Norway with several sold out shows. He has certainly come a long way since the days of being a mobile phone salesman.

Paul first sang opera in 1999 in a karaoke competition, dressed as Luciano Pavarotti.

In the following years, he dabbled in amateur opera but it was in June 2007 when his audition for Britain’s Got Talent was broadcast that he began his truly extraordinary journey towards winning the first season of the competition.

He then became known around the world as the mobile phone salesman with the incredible voice. Millions of people around the world have since watched that first audition that blew the audience and the judges away.

I spoke to Paul back in April 2009. While working in radio my job allowed me the opportunity to speak to many well-known people from all around the world.

I’d have to say that my chat with Paul would rank among my favourite interviews because he seemed like such an ordinary and very likeable guy. He certainly has an amazing voice but he remains genuine and down to earth.

Just click the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post to hear our conversation.

I spoke to Paul about suffering at the hands of bullies in his younger years, comparisons between his story and that of Susan Boyle, the unlikely star of the 2009 season of Britain’s Got Talent and about the career path he thought of following when he was just six.

I hope you’ll take the time to listen to the interview and enjoy spending some time with the remarkable Paul Potts.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading RetroRadio – Paul Potts? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂

RetroRadio – Brandi Carlile

RetroRadio is a series of posts of radio interviews from my time working at 98five Sonshine FM covering everything from issues of spirituality to chats with visiting musicians and celebrities.

Hopefully, the interviews spark a few memories and a few thoughts.

Brandi Carlile released her sixth studio album, By the Way, I Forgive You, in February this year. She recently teamed up with U.K. singer-songwriter Sam Smith for a duet version of her song Party of One.

Rodney_Brandi.jpgDuring the last week, she had the honour of singing my favourite Joni Mitchell song, A Case of You, with Kris Kristofferson at Joni’s 75th birthday celebration. She’s an extremely talented and highly respected artist.

All the way back in March 2008, I had the opportunity to chat with Brandi when she visited Perth to Support Maroon 5.

If you haven’t heard much of Brandi, here’s the song that first captured me, The Story.

At the time we sat down to talk, Brandi’s music had gained a wider audience through the television series, Grey’s Anatomy.

I interviewed so many people over my years of working in radio but my time with Brandi certainly stands out as one of my highlights. She’s extremely talented and it was wonderful to be able to chat with her.

You can listen to the interview using the media player below.

[Note: All RetroRadio interviews on RodneyOlsen.net are a snapshot of the time they were recorded. We all grow and change and so the opinions and thoughts of those in the interviews at the time of recording may or may not necessarily be the same as they are today.] Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading RetroRadio – Brandi Carlile? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂

The Voice Grows Silent

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where God begins to speak louder and more clearly than previously. Through the Holy Spirit, His voice directs us, challenges us, comforts us. So how do we capture those promptings and ensure they have more than a passing effect?

Over the past couple of months as I cycled across Australia, God used that radical change in daily routines to speak to me. It wasn’t as if I had extra time to hear from God. My ‘busyness’ levels were higher than ever but when we’re placed into different circumstances we can’t just fall into mindless routines. We’re forced to think differently.

I’m not sure I could even articulate everything God has been saying. Some of the conversation has been an invitation to go deeper, to seek greater closeness, to explore more of who He is and what that means for me. God reinforced care for the poor and care for those we encounter every day.

As life starts returning to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) there is the very real danger that the voice that was so clear in past weeks will grow increasingly silent. It won’t happen intentionally but everyday, ordinary life has a habit of crowding out the extraordinary. So how do times of the extraordinary help form a ‘new normal’?

Routines are helpful and the day to day stuff of life demands our attention but how do we intentionally grab hold of those times of difference and ensure they continue to reform the everyday stuff of life? How do we ensure that we are the ‘good soil’ that doesn’t let our busy lives choke out what’s important?

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:3-8 ESV

I think part of the answer is in examining routines and deciding if there are any that we need to let go to make way for more helpful routines. We need to make way for those moments where God has our attention and can speak. We need to reset our priorities regularly to see if those things that are lasting and eternal have given way to the temporary and passing pursuits of this world.

We also need to act on what we hear, we need to practice obedience to what God is calling us to do or be.

Perhaps we should be writing down those ‘nudges’ the Holy Spirit gives us and returning to those notes often so that the directions we are given become part of our new routines.

How about sharing what God is saying with others so that they can be part of the journey you’re taking?

These are just a few thoughts and really only scratch the surface. I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do we ensure the voice we heard so clearly does not become silent?

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RetroRadio – Grumpy Old Women

I realised last weekend that my blog has been around for fifteen years. That’s a long time to be sharing thoughts with the world.

Back in the day, there was a fair bit of traffic here and quite a lot of interaction. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others changed the face of blogging but some of us are still plugging away with personal blogs, even though my posting isn’t exactly what you’d call regular.

As I looked back over more than three and a half thousand posts, starting on the 3rd of November 2003, one of the things I realised is that I’ve recorded and posted hundreds of radio interviews. They all came from my time at 98five Sonshine FM and cover everything from issues of spirituality to chats with visiting musicians and celebrities.

Over the coming weeks, I’m going to re-post some of those interviews. Hopefully, they’ll spark a few memories and a few thoughts.

I’ll start off with a chat from back in May 2007

I know that they don’t look very grumpy … but they are.

I had the opportunity to chat to Linda Robson and Jenny Éclair who were in Perth for Grumpy Old Women Live.

We chatted about the hit BBC television program that launched the show and I asked them what makes them grumpy about Australia.

They were very complimentary about our land down under and couldn’t find too much to complain about here ….. until Jenny remembered seeing some of our morning television.

She didn’t mind the programs but she found it a bit odd when it came to a very long advertisement about a ladder. I suggested that it’s a very good ladder but she wasn’t convinced.

Jenny Éclair is a comedian, actress, novelist and radio presenter. Although I’d never seen any of her work before the Grumpy Old Women TV show, I immediately warmed to her in that program and so I was thrilled that she was able to drop into our studios.

Linda Robson is perhaps best known for her role as Tracey Stubbs in the BBC series Birds of a Feather.

If you’d like to hear what the Grumpy Old Women had to say just click the play button on the audio player below.

[Note: All RetroRadio interviews on RodneyOlsen.net are a snapshot of the time they were recorded. We all grow and change and so the opinions and thoughts of those in the interviews at the time of recording may or may not necessarily be the same as they are today.] Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading RetroRadio – Grumpy Old Women? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂